Gay USA

1977 | Activism / Documentary / Human Rights / Sexuality | 78m | USA
Directors: Arthur Bressan

Arthur Bressan created a gay-America panorama when he commissioned filmmakers throughout the country to record all June 1977 Lesbian and Gay Pride parades and marches. He then cut on-the-street interviews—LGBTQ community members talking about their lovers and how they came out. The resulting footage features lesbians marching against housework, drag queens protesting fascism, and a thoroughly vivid snapshot of queer life at the precipice of entering mainstream American society. This 1977 film is a revolutionary document.

Said director Arthur Bressan: ”When the Anita Bryant debacle happened I was hurled into making this political documentary. My naive dream was that if we all saw ourselves in our numbers we would never buy into the guilt trip again. Not from Anita Bryant or from [NYC] Mayor Koch or from Cardinal Cook. Not even from AIDS …”

Reviews and Awards

“Even after thirty years, Gay USA’s footage of pride parades of days gone by—and the surprisingly supportive and intelligent straight onlookers cheering them on—seems as vital and unpretentious as those crisp Sunday afternoons in June 1977 when these interviews were captured for posterity.” —David Serlin, Communication and Science Studies, Critical Gender Studies, University of California at San Diego